Our Le Pain Quotidiens likely to close permanently

The US branch of Le Pain Quotidien — or PQ for those of us who could never exercise a decent French accent — has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and has agreed to sell its US operation to Aurify, the brand that operates Five Guys Pizza along with a bunch of other chains, according to Nation’s Restaurant News. There are currently 98 of the restaurants in the country — more than 30 in the city — and Aurify has predicted it will reopen 35 of them once the virus has subsided.

But more to the point: I think ours are likely done. This note, below, is already posted on the PQ in Battery Park City at Gateway — 395 South End Ave. (thanks to N.), It notes that the tenant — PQ — had defaulted on its rent — a total of $86,700 accrued between April 1 and May 15. And I was told early this month that the location at West Broadway and Warren was already being abandoned (I just couldn’t confirm with corporate). There’s another at 85 Broad and at 2 River Terrace near Teardrop  Park.

The Tribeca location takes up a big and prominent corner for the neighborhood — and I for one will miss it as a meeting spot.

The chain is based in Belgium, and “was struggling even before the pandemic, moving recently to spin off both its American and British subsidiaries to avoid liquidation. At its peak, the chain operated nearly 300 units worldwide.”